Picture this: it's 1996, you've just received your brand-new Mercedes-Benz SL500 and taken it for a brisk drive around a few blocks. 80-miles now adorns the odometer and you park it up to go about your business, returning to find the key has gone walkabouts. Would you then call it a day and never drive it again?

That's exactly what the owner of this particular example did, and it recently sold for a record price 21 years later— £56,640 to be exact — by Coys at their Spring Classics auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.  

Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys, said, “This is a fantastic price bearing in mind that a normal version of this car, with reasonable mileage, would probably be worth 20% of what this SL500 made today. An exciting sale and a new world record!”

The Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 roadsters were produced from 1989 through 2002, featuring many innovative details for the time, such as electronically controlled damping and a hidden, automatically extending roll-over bar, electric windows and mirrors.

This is one of the more powerful and sought after M119 engined cars and also boasts a number of optional factory extras, including heated front seats, 6 CD multi-changer, upgraded radio and wood-leather steering wheel.

It's far too nice to call a barn find ... perhaps a time capsule, if you will? Either way, £56,640 is a staggering win for the owner.

Jaden Martin

Growing up inhaling paint fumes and bog dust at his old man's panel shop, Jaden is a qualified word bender that has obtained a 'brofessional' diploma in car building from years of trial and error. He's currently trying to finish his creation of Australian-based debauchery crammed with Japanese- and Euro-inspired goodness. You'll find him writing for NZ Performance Car and producing content online.

Instagram — @jaden_nzpcmagazine